For seven years, this Kenyan national has been guiding tourists up some of East Africa’s most treacherous peaks, including Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, and through some of the region’s most scenic safari parks. As one of the few female guides operating in East Africa, she has faced skepticism and downright discrimination. In many lodges, accommodation for female guides simply does not exist. Then there are also the flirtatious guests and subordinates who do not take her seriously. But over the years, Wanjiru has hit her stride and knows how to deal with these challenges. She has struck deals with hotels to stay in guest quarters and assembled a trustworthy and respectful team. She knows how to handle everything from feisty tourists to life-threatening accidents. In August 2010, she launched a travel company, “Bush and Events Africa”, which she co-owns. Wanjiru continues to lead tours and does not plan to stop climbing any time soon. In fact, she hopes to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro decades from now, at 60.
Wanjiru shares her struggles, triumphs, and best advice with Akilah Net.